Re-evaluating Payment Technology (MARIKO KURODA)

Everyday, the dining staff interface with the cash register. The cash register is operated by a touch screen, and has a swipe card reader that records information from our ID cards. The first thing I notice as the dining staff interface with the cash register  is how hard each of them are tapping their fingers on the touch screen. It appears that the touch screen is not very sensitive. This kind of rough treatment is harmful both for the person using the machine and for the machine. Moreover, the use of touch screens is also unhygienic and unfitting for a setting where food is being prepared and served. I think that perhaps the input method of the cash register can be improved. For example, each item in the dining hall could have a barcode which can be scanned by the register. That barcode can even contain information other than cost, such as the nutritional value of the food or the origin of the ingredients. A different input method could utilize a camera that can recognize which food items are on a person’s plate—although the efficiency of this method depends heavily on the accuracy of the camera. Another thing I realize is that the sometimes the card reader cannot read the ID card, depending on how fast it is swiped. A contactless reader would be more efficient because there are less ways to touch a card than to swipe one, eliminating chances of bad input.

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